Johnny Manziel is still waiting to get on the field in the Canadian Football League.
That said, Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach June Jones has seen enough of Manziel in practice to predict that the former Cleveland Browns quarterback will find his way back to the NFL.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised the last three weeks what a good teammate he is, how smart he is, how he sees the game,” Jones said, per ESPN.com. “He should be playing in the National Football League and I believe he will when he gets through with us.”
Manziel, who signed a two-year contract with Hamilton in May, is serving as the backup to incumbent starting quarterback Jeremiah Masoli.
The former Heisman Trophy winner did not play in the Tiger-Cats’ regular-season opener, but he completed 21 of 32 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown in a pair of exhibition games.
Manziel last played in the NFL at the end of the 2015 season with Cleveland. He was released by the Browns in March 2016.
The No. 22 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Manziel played in 15 games with Cleveland over two seasons. He completed 57 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns, seven interceptions and seven fumbles.
Significant problems off the field led to Manziel’s fall. The 25-year-old was investigated by Dallas police in 2016 for domestic violence against an ex-girlfriend, but the charges were dropped when he agreed to undergo counseling.
Following the 2015 season, Manziel entered a rehabilitation center and was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Because of those transgressions, Jones said Manziel needs to prove that he has his life in order before an NFL team is willing to take a chance on him.
“It’ll take two years,” said Jones, a former head coach in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons and the then-San Diego Chargers. “They’re [NFL executives, coaches] waiting to see that he’s taken care of his off-the-field problems.”